The IACHR Will Visit 22 Indigenous Chiapas Communities, Victims of Violence

by Isaín Mandujano

One year after the IACHR granted precautionary measures to 12 Aldama communities, the Mexican State has not guaranteed peace and security in the territory.

These women and children sit in a small cluster of houses that has now been abandoned for the intensity and constancy of gunfire that strike the buildings.

One year after the precautionary measures granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in favor of twelve indigenous Tsotsil communities in Aldama, Chiapas, the Mexican State has not taken effective actions to guarantee the security of the people who live and travel within these communities.

On April 23 2021, the IACHR issued resolution number 35/2021 taking into consideration the “situation of risk resulting from attacks, harassment and threats due to the presence of armed people in the area, which would have caused their displacement at various times, in the context of a territorial conflict.”  It also established that measures the State adopted (non-aggression agreements, dialogue measures and patrols) have not been effective and suitable given that they have not permitted mitigating the risk situation.

Their analysis took into account different elements that have not been effectively attended to on the part of the State, therefore “the disarmament and disarticulation of the aggressor group has not been achieved,” and that “it would be pertinent to address, at least, the formation, structure, and financing of the armed people, as well as their relationship to the territorial conflict… identifying the origin of the weapons used and the source of training.”

Another relevant point contained in the precautionary measures of the IACHR is the inadequate delimitation of the territories that provokes “a climate of permanent uncertainty” that “can generate major violent situations and can affect the social peace of the collectives.”

The IACHR reaffirmed re-affirmed the foregoing on December 15, 2021, when it issued the follow-up resolution 102/2021, in which it requested to visit 22 indigenous communities in Chiapas that are beneficiaries of precautionary measures (one in Chenalhó, nine in Chalchihuitán and 12 in Aldama). On April 22, the Mexican State notified the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) of its consent to the IACHR’s on-site visit and, therefore we are awaiting confirmation of the date.

Since April 2021, when the Precautionary Measures were issued, three people have been shot to death and another five were injured (among them a minor girl). From January 1 of this year to date, 1,095 attacks with high caliber weapons have been reported against Aldama communities 1.

One year after the IACHR’s resolution we lament that the Mexican State has not taken effective measures to guarantee the life, security, personal integrity and a lasting peace, attending to all elements of the conflict; we emphasize that it’s important to reduce the situation to a dispute over land and the simulation of agreements, which in turn impedes substantive solutions for communities in the region of the Chiapas Highlands that experience prolonged violence with critical and irreparable psychosocial impacts.

Published by Chiapas Paralelo, April 26, 2022. Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee and re-posted here.

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  1. Both Zapatistas and non-Zapatistas live in Aldama communities.
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